Do I have two voices?
No, but your voice can make sound in different ways.
The vocal folds (vocal cords) are complex and able to vibrate in a number of modes (referred to as Laryngeal Mechanisms).
The terms 'head voice' and 'chest voice' date back hundreds of years, to a time when there was very little understanding of how the voice worked. These days, with modern scientific research, we have a much clearer idea of how we make sound, so we know that 'head voice' and 'chest voice' no longer accurately describe what's happening. As a result, these terms are gradually falling out of use by voice professionals.
What do 'head' and 'chest' mean?
Some teachers and singers still use the words 'head' and 'chest' to describe the voice, but it's hard to pin down exactly what they mean. The main problem (as I'm sure you'll realise from the wealth of 'information' on the internet!) is that there's no consensus - some say there are two 'registers' (Chest and Head or Chest and Falsetto), others three (Chest, Head and Mixed), some four (Chest, Mixed, Head, Falsetto).
Some of the confusion comes from the fact that when we sing, we feel vibration. The vibration of the vocal folds (vocal cords) is transmitted via muscles to various fixed points in the body (e.g. the chest and the head) and those areas vibrate in sympathy with the vocal folds. But that sympathetic vibration is an effect, not the cause. Unfortunately, singers (and some teachers) misunderstand the nature of the effect and try to 'place' the voice in order to feel those vibrations. See this blog post on 'placement'.
The major problem with 'head' and 'chest' is that it suggests that the sound production mechanism changes position from somewhere in the chest to somewhere in the head - which it doesn't. Sound is always made by the vocal folds (cords) in the larynx (voice box) - which is in the throat.
Confused? I'm sure you are!
Fortunately, Andy can simplify things for you. By focusing on the physical production of the voice, rather than imagery, Andy will explain exactly what happens - and allow you to control it. Whatever you call it - Head, Chest, Mixed, Falsetto - each sound can be precisely defined in terms of how the vocal folds are vibrating, and how that sound is modified by other structures.
What are registers?
'Register' is a term used to describe a sound or series of sounds that share similar acoustic characteristics. It's important to understand that other factors - not just the Laryngeal Mechanism - contribute to the sound. For example, breath pressure and resonance also have a role to play. In other words, the same vibratory mechanism can be used to produce several 'registers'. Although the final result is 'the sound', it's important that singers understand the different elements that make up that sound, and are able to control each element independently.
In Estill Voice Training™, the singer is taught to understand that these components all interact with each other. In this 'Dynamical System', certain conditions become easier than others at certain pitches and the voice is attracted to slip into these conditions - sometimes without the singer realising it!
The challenge for an Estill-trained singer is to learn how to maintain the conditions that produce a certain sound beyond the limits of its attractor state, or to allow the Laryngeal Mechanism to change and manipulate other structures to keep the sound consistent.
By understanding how the voice works, Estill Voice Training™ replaces the vague and inexact concepts of Head voice and Chest voice with a precise understanding of the vocal folds and how they vibrate, and how other structures can affect that sound - giving the singer complete control.
As a Certified Master Teacher, Andy Follin can explain how to allow the voice to move effortlessly through the range - with or without a change in sound.
Professional Singing lessons in North West England
Andy is a professional vocal coach, not a school teacher or piano teacher doing a few singing lessons in their spare time. Unlike a lot of voice teachers, Andy does not insist on long-term tuition, where students have to attend regular lessons, repeating the same exercises until their voice improves. You can attend as often as you like, but there's no compulsion to attend every week or every fortnight. In fact, many students only book sessions every 4 to 6 weeks.
Estill Voice Training™ is known for producing quick results. Quite often, Andy finds that long-standing problems can be fixed in the first few lessons. At your first session, Andy will give you an assessment of your abilities and draw up a plan that ensures you get to where you want to be, as quickly as possible.
If you're ready to take your voice to the next level, book a lesson with Andy today (see bottom of page).
Andy runs his studio from St Helens, so is ideally located for students in the Liverpool, Merseyside, Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire areas. Please check out the separate pages for students from Liverpool, Merseyside, Warrington, Widnes / Runcorn, Wigan, Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales.
Singing lessons - costs and times
£50 for 1 hour
Monday: 1000 - 1930
Tuesday: 1000 - 1930
Wednesday: 1000 - 1830
Thursday: 1000 - 1830
Friday: 1000 - 1500
Book your singing lesson now!
To book your first singing lesson with Andy, you need to pay in advance.
Please note that waiting times can be up to 4 weeks, depending on the time slot you require. If you have an urgent requirement, please contact Andy before paying your deposit.
Simply click on the link below and follow the Paypal instructions (NB each 60 minute session costs £50). Once you've paid, Andy will contact you to arrange a suitable time for your lesson.
If you don't have a Paypal account, please contact Andy for alternative ways to pay.
Please note: Clients must give a minimum of 48 hours' notice should they need cancel a lesson. Giving less than 48 hours' notice will mean the full cost of that lesson will be charged. Additionally, if a client forgets a scheduled lesson or is late (regardless of reason, including illness) the full cost of the lesson will still be charged.